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Cycling Eugene, OR, whatís it like?

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Cycling Eugene, OR, whatís it like?

Old 12-25-17, 09:39 AM
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boneshaker78
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Cycling Eugene, OR, whatís it like?

Planning a move to Eugene in a year or so and I need to know what the cycling is like there. I will not have a car and besides walking and public transit my bike will be my sole means of transport. Is the terrain exceptionally hilly? Can I get away with a single speed? Current single speed is 46x16, is that too much? I know tons of rain and lots of college hipsters to dodge. Any feedback would be great. Thanks
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Old 12-25-17, 09:52 AM
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There is a member, B.Carfree, from Eugene. He is often on the Living Carfree Forum or the Fifty+ forum.

Maybe you can ask the moderator to move the thread to the Car Free forum.
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Old 12-25-17, 10:13 AM
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College Town = expensive rentals.. ( used to live there 20 years in the past) bike culture there includes Theft.. up your locking strategies..

But there are 2 bike service co ops, 1 on campus, 1 off , and member ship accessible..

does not snow as heavily as Buffalo but it can to a lesser amount...

a 1 speed will keep you in the valley floor, but there are many bike shops there , to buy another bike.. N+1







....

Last edited by fietsbob; 12-25-17 at 11:32 AM.
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Old 12-25-17, 11:23 AM
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Try using Google Earth in 3D mode. You can tour the city and see the hills.
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Old 12-25-17, 12:14 PM
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Choices of gearing vs no gearing would depend on where you are.

Eugene is located at the southern end of the Willamette Valley, as the foothills begin to encroach. So, for example, a ride from Eugene to Portland is quite flat, depending on the route, with most of the hills right around Portland. Heading other directions will hit a few hills.

Springfield is generally flat, but Eugene has several hills, but you don't have to hit them depending on where you're staying.

There is an excellent waterfront bike path system which, of course, is generally fairly flat, other than a bit of a wavy surface, and bridge access.

So, potentially one could be fine with a fixie, or perhaps both a geared bike and a fixie for different rides.

There is an active local cycling group called "Gears", which would be good for some local rides.

GEARs | Advocacy | Education | Recreation

At least the Tuesday gears ride tends to be hilly. And, they host a wonderful annual century ride (Blackberry) (with several course options).

Of course, if you do like hills, there are 3 annual semi-organized hilly half century rides up in Portland. Fixie not recommended, unless you use mighty low gears.

Be prepared for rain in the winter. Fenders? Rain gear? Not a lot of snow, but a couple of days of snow.

B.Carfree and I have a somewhat different view of the cycling culture. As mentioned, locks are your friend to keep your bike safe.
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Old 12-25-17, 12:56 PM
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Thanks for the replies... Iíll have to check out that 3D map
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Old 12-25-17, 02:21 PM
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What are your goals in Eugene?
University?
Hospital?
Bicycle Manufacturing?
Raptor Rehabilitation?
I'm not sure a 3-D model of the city would really give you a good feel for the city, unless you looked at it very closely. Have you come out here before?

For Eugene, many of the hills are mostly residential. So, for example, there is a big water tower and reservoir near 24th and Lincoln. But, one can entirely miss that hill with regular riding if not one's destination. Likewise, Skinner's Butte Park is great for a short hill climb, but easy to miss.

If your goal is climbing hills, then there are some great hills to climb. Fox Hollow Rd just seems to go on and on forever. Then Green Hill is also a good, steep hill climb. I haven't climbed South Willamette, but it does make for a mighty quick descent.

And the old McKenzie Hwy makes for a great spring/summer ride. The mountain is closed to cars in the winter, so if one can find a day without snow, then it can make for a great car-free ride. Of course getting to the base of the mountain is a good long ride, although a bus service is also possible.

I think MTBs are popular, but I'm not quite sure where the favorite riding routes are.
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Old 12-25-17, 02:28 PM
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Definitely agree with the locks comment. Bring 2
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Old 12-25-17, 03:15 PM
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Iím primarily looking to live somewhere that I can commute by bicycle, year round and more easily. Buffalo is not ideal for year round cycling as Iím sure you can imagine. Iíve been to Portland for a couple of weeks in the past and loved it, but Iím too poor to live there. Oregon in general seems awesome, Iíve been drawn to the area for the last 15 years or so, there is just something about the northwest.

Iím not looking to climb hills necessarily, Iím more interested to know if I can make it, survive getting to and from job, groceries, etc. with a single speed. Buffalo is very flat and I can get around no problem with my 46 x 16 gearing. Iíve already got two quality locks, hearing a lot about the bike theft... but still cheaper to buy multiple bikes then pay for polluting, money incinerating, dead dino burning, bane of my existence, tin can... I hate cars.

No particular goals, just years of yearning to live in the northwest where I can cycle year round and enjoy the outdoors. Iím a decent mechanic too, build my own wheels, that sort of thing, been building bikes for the last 10 plus years. I just like the idea of the bike culture in Oregon.
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Old 12-25-17, 06:46 PM
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Winter is cold and rainy, not snowy. So you could ride through the winter if you had warm rain gear.
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Old 12-26-17, 11:49 AM
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My daughter went to school there.

Riding is good, quite flat, river in the middle w/ a couple of bridge issues.

Rain, so fenders are good. Bike theft relatively high- college town, but undercurrent of poverty/drugs.
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Old 12-26-17, 12:05 PM
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As far as bike theft, it all depends on how you are using and caring for your bike(s).

As far as I can tell, daytime, short-term, bike theft is relatively low.

Overnight theft, of course, is high.

If I was doing all-day bike commuting, then try to find some kind of secure parking, or a really good lock. Overnight, the bike should be kept inside. But, for shopping, and short trips, just get a good heavy lock.

I've had lights taken on a couple of occasions (tend to take the expensive ones, leave the cheap ones). But, so far, nothing else has been touched. Water bottle left alone. Trailer (and contents) ignored, etc. I've only been locking one wheel lately, and so far, it hasn't been a problem.
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Old 12-26-17, 12:33 PM
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For terrain, as mentioned, Springfield is mostly flat. Kind of an odd "mill town". It has some good roadside bike paths, as well as a few semi-through streets with low traffic that are designated for cycling.

Eugene is a little more affluent, but still mixed income, with a mix of hills and flat. But, most of my riding in Eugene is also flat. Just find something that meets your needs.

Eugene has some of the best bicycle bridges I've seen so far, with several bicycle only river crossings mainly connecting the two riverside bike paths.

There are a few "bridge people", but generally fairly scattered around. Personally, I've never had any negative encounters with them.
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Old 12-26-17, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
As far as bike theft, it all depends on how you are using and caring for your bike(s).

As far as I can tell, daytime, short-term, bike theft is relatively low.

Overnight theft, of course, is high.

If I was doing all-day bike commuting, then try to find some kind of secure parking, or a really good lock. Overnight, the bike should be kept inside. But, for shopping, and short trips, just get a good heavy lock.

I've had lights taken on a couple of occasions (tend to take the expensive ones, leave the cheap ones). But, so far, nothing else has been touched. Water bottle left alone. Trailer (and contents) ignored, etc. I've only been locking one wheel lately, and so far, it hasn't been a problem.


My daughter's BF (Corvallis native, UofO grad) says that Eugene is with New York as one of the few places that

Kriptonite will not guarantee their locks & that theft there is indiscriminate.

Not to discourage the OP, & he (BF) has been in Portland for a number of years.
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Old 12-26-17, 10:32 PM
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Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
My daughter's BF (Corvallis native, UofO grad) says that Eugene is with New York as one of the few places that

Kriptonite will not guarantee their locks & that theft there is indiscriminate.

Not to discourage the OP, & he (BF) has been in Portland for a number of years.
I have heard that, but I've never verified that it was true.

I think Eugene might have been one of the cities where thieves learned to pick the old style "bic-pen" Kryptonite locks. So, whether or not theft is a problem today, it was a huge black-eye for Kryptonite in the 90's.

Nonethess, Kryptonite survived that failure, and perhaps sold twice as many locks because of it. $$$$$

Since some of my bikes are a little flashy as commuters, I've started carrying a Kryptonite NY lock. I have heard that some local thieves are literally cracking U-Locks with canned air, but I'm still hoping that the NY lock will be able to withstand that attack.
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Old 12-29-17, 08:34 AM
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My mother lived near Portland. Much better cycling/commuting infrastructure (e.g., bike lanes) than Buffalo.
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Old 12-29-17, 02:32 PM
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may need a fat resume, since there are a lot of over-educated people competing for even the waiter-bartender jobs..
being a University town.
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Old 12-29-17, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
may need a fat resume, since there are a lot of over-educated people competing for even the waiter-bartender jobs..
being a University town.
They can certainly be picky about jobs like information technology, although there are both benefits of young and fresh out of school as well as benefits of being older with years of practical experience.

It looks like the Eugene unemployment rate is around 4.4%, and only slightly above the US average, but really not that bad.
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Old 12-29-17, 02:46 PM
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maybe because of the Baby Boom the glut of workers , has us pitted against each other..

My GI bill income was crucial.
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Old 12-30-17, 01:38 PM
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Lived there for a year 2003-4, car-free. Got around on my mtn. or road bikes. Had no problems as I recall. The mtn. bike did get stolen one day, but strangely, the cops recovered it (I believe it had been part of a bike theft ring in which many bikes were returned to owners). Just make sure to write down your VIN in case you haven't already so if it does get stolen, you can file a report.

On another note, this town is on the cusp of the red-neck region of OR.
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